Update: Brady listed as 'probable' for Sunday

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Update: Brady listed as 'probable' for Sunday

FOXBORO -- It is the shiny thing to keep everyone occupied during the holiday week. Tom Brady's left shoulder. Since we have basically established that it's not separated but hurts enough to warrant an X-ray, the attention now turns to record-keeping. Brady, who was at the early portion of Friday's practice involved in stretching and sprints, did not practice on Wednesday. The reason given was "not injury related." On Thursday, he took part on a limited basis and the reason given for his limitations was "shoulder." Same on Friday, but he was still listed as 'probable' on the injury report.
Bill Belichick was peppered with questions at the outset of his Friday morning press conference by Albert Breer of the NFL Network. Asked what Brady was able to do at practice Wednesday, Belichick answered, "Play quarterback."Three successive questions about listings, etc., were batted away with a "we've covered that."Toward the end of the press conference, Belichick was asked if he felt confident Brady could play at a high level on Sunday. "Anybody we put out on the field, I have confidence in or we wouldn't put him out there," Belichick answered. "So if they're out there, we have confidence in him. If they're not out there, there is either another player ahead of him or we're not confident they can go out there and do it health-wise. It's as simple as that. We're not going to put anybody out there on the field that we don't have confidence in." The concern about Brady is warranted. He's really good. But the level of disrepair he's currently in is not commensurate with the attention his bruise is generating.Oh, and by the way, Logan Mankins -- as expected -- is out for Sunday, leaving a patchwork offensive line to again attempt to protect Brady.NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTSOUT: G Logan Mankins (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (backfoot).QUESTIONABLE: CB Kyle Arrington (foot), WR Deion Branch (groin), S Patrick Chung (foot), C Dan Connolly (groin), WR Julian Edelman (back), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder), T Matt Light (ankle), CB Devin McCourty (shoulder), LB Rob Ninkovich (hip), WR Matthew Slater (shoulder), LB Brandon Spikes (knee), RB Shane Vereen (hamstring), G Brian Waters (ankle), WR Wes Welker (knee), LB Tracy White (abdomen).PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (left shoulder).BUFFALO BILLSOUT: LT Demetrius Bell (knee), TE Mike Caussin (knee), K Dave Rayner (groin), QBWR Brad Smith (hamstring), G Kraig Urbik (knee).PROBABLE: WR Ruvell Martin (hamstring), RB Johnny White (concussion).

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round. 

Tomlin not letting up on Brown after ill-advised Facebook Live video

Tomlin not letting up on Brown after ill-advised Facebook Live video

FOXBORO – Mike Tomlin didn’t sidestep questions related to Antonio Brown’s ill-advised locker room broadcast.

Instead, Tomlin actually seemed to up the ante during a conference call with New England media. Asked whether Brown seemed to get the message that Tomlin delivered and take it seriously, Tomlin said, “I think time always tells those stories.”

Tomlin easily could have used a “we’re moving on” message or talked about how Brown simply made a youthful mistake but he opted not to. Which isn’t surprising.

The number one criticism of Tomlin is that the Steelers head coach runs a loose ship and that the lack of discipline and accountability is a big issue.

Seeing Brown run a live broadcast from the locker room while Tomlin’s trying to make a point doesn’t just keep that perception afloat, it advances it to a place it’s never been.

It’s not a stretch to say that Brown’s actions imperiled Tomlin’s reputation. There’s no wonder he isn’t willing to let Brown off the hook.

Brown addressed the controversy on Wednesday saying, “I absolutely regret the Facebook Live situation. It’s a total distraction to the organization. A total distraction to my teammates. Obviously disrespect to my coach. I’ve got utmost respect to my coach so I totally regret that.”

Tomlin on Tuesday went as far as to suggest other players doing team-distracting things like Brown wind up getting passed around the league despite their great talent. “That's often why you see great players move from team to team,” said Tomlin. “Don't want that to happen to Antonio Brown.

Tomlin expressed embarrassment that the language he used in the postgame in the privacy of his locker room was served up for public consumption.

“As a parent, I’m not into public displays of that type of language so I was more embarrassed about that aspect of it not necessarily the content or the message of the video,” said Tomlin.

As to referring to the Patriots as “those a*******,” Tomlin said, “Man, you could have applied that sentiment to any opponent. You could have made that tape two weeks earlier and applied it to that opponent. It’s not about the nameless great faces that we play, it’s about our overall preparation and that was the sentiment of the message that I was sending to the guys not necessarily about the New England Patriots, they just happened to be who we’re playing this week.”

Tomlin also addressed the time element he referenced in his postgame speech when he said the Patriots had a day-and-a-half head start on his team. 

“I was just trying to instill a sense of urgency in our group regarding preparation and I wanted them to understand that we didn’t have a lot of time to pat ourselves on the back based on the performance of the last game,” he explained. “That we needed to transition and transition quickly and start the preparation, whether it was actual preparation or just from a mentality standpoint.”

Because of Brown’s decision, it’s probably been a lot harder to make that transition than Tomlin ever hoped.